We were at the Turks and Caicos property last summer with our three kids; two teenagers and one very busy 8-year old boy. The residence itself is, in a nutshell, spectacular. While I thought the Regent Grand was quite nice, it was honestly just that--nice but not spectacular. The property on the 6th floor was incredible. Views of the Atlantic were amazing and the residence is very spacious and luxurious.
The beach, as described by other members, is surreal. The sand is the most amazing sand I have experienced anywhere and the waters are more beautiful and calm than words can adequately describe.
We went out to several very fine restaurants and even did the private chef option on one occasion. Coco Bistro is the most highly regarded restaurant on the Island and I would 100% agree. I took my wife on a date night and was so impressed that we returned the next night with our entire family. A definite must.
My 18-year old son had gotten his certification just before arriving and he went on 2 certified dives. He thoroughly loved both dives and still talks about them to this day. On our last day we did a sailing cruise with Sail Beluga on a private trip. This was a 4-hour excursion to a variety of private beaches and was an incredible thrill. A great family outing that I would highly recommend.
All in all a beautiful and very peaceful residence. For our first Equity Estates trip, we could not have been more pleased. We are excited about our next three trips over the next four months to San Diego, Scottsdale, and Cabo. Cheers!
Glenn & Juliann B are members of Equity Estates
AWESOME doesn't even begin to describe our trip. The house is amazing. It is furnished beautifully and comfortably. The kitchen is fabulous, the bedrooms are wonderful, the living room is spacious, the bar area is a party waiting to happen, the golf carts are a blast, the view is breathtaking, and the pool, hot tub, fire pit, and patio areas are magnificent.
We spent 5 days and nights being spoiled rotten. The housekeeper was a godsend - her breakfasts were truly the highlight of the trip for me. They were delicious! It was the perfect start to each day. Our only regret is only having her cook for us 3 mornings... we should have had her every morning!
Our days were spent mostly lounging by the infinity pool! We did also work out down at the beach club, walked on the beach, hit golf balls, drove the golf carts around, cooked hot dogs on the grill and had a few cold cervezas and margaritas.
Paco, the Chef, was a highlight too! We had him 2 nights and wished we had booked him 3. Everything from the presentation, to the fun cocktails, to the creative appetizers, to the wonderful main course, to the yummy dessert was grand. The guitar serenading bartender was so fun. We actually did a conga line the last night!
We went into San Jose del Cabo 2 nights for dinner which was fun. We did the Art Walk on Thursday which we enjoyed. We took a sunset cruise out of Cabo San Lucas one night on the Rissalena. Our travel concierge booked it for us and it was so much fun. My husband and I had been on the Rissalena 11 years ago and it was just as wonderful this time around. Our local host also helped us set up our transportation to and from the airport and to San Jose de Cabo and Cabo San Lucas.
We had the pleasure of meeting Marie McCarthy, an EE travel concierge, the last night we were there. She was in Cabo to help open a new house just down the street. What a lovely lady!
I can honestly say that I do not think I have ever had a more enjoyable trip! (and I know that the 2 other couples traveling with us agreed!) Wish I could describe it more but there just are not enough adjectives!
Sally B. is an owner member of Equity Estates.
We just returned from 6 nights at Casa Cristal in Costa Rica. The house is incredibly open and contemporary - I just loved it! The pool and deck area are nothing short of incredible.
We had Chef Derek (and Gracie) for breakfast 4 mornings. He came up with wonderful and creative spreads, with my favorite being the Eggs Benedict. He was also quite entertaining. We had Chef Bathsheba (and Marie) for dinner 3 nights. The presentation and flavors were incredible. Every dinner was truly a feast, but I think the seafood ceviche with shaved plantain chips and the espresso rubbed beef tenderloin were my favorites. I truly think both chefs were the best we have had at any EE property.
Our local host took us on the Monkey Boat Tour one morning and it was very informative and fun. We saw lots of crocodiles, monkeys, birds and iguanas. He also took us zip lining and white water kayaking one day. That was awesome!
Two of our men went fishing one morning and caught 9 Red Snappers that the chef prepared for us the next evening. It was delicious, as always! One day we took a van to Lola's and spent the afternoon drinking "Monkeys" and Pina Coladas, watching the surfers, swimming and laughing at Lolita, the pet pig. Great fun! The waves were awesome and the food was delicious.
Equity Estates trips are always fantastic, but this one was truly special for us. I cannot wait for our next trip to Costa Rica and Casa Cristal!
Sally B is an owner investor in Equity Estates.
Traveling with Equity Estates has always been an outstanding experience, starting with the concierge service prior to the trip who helped us plan our excursions, meals, etc. The concierge even arranged an escort from the Dominican Airport, who paraded all 11 of us (no waiting in lines) through customs, baggage claim and to our ground transportation.
The house (which sleeps 12) was perfect, as all Equity Estates houses are. The Dominican house is especially gorgeous. It is located in a superb location on a picturesque golf course. We don't golf, but boy did we have fun on those golf carts! Beaches were a short walk or golf-cart ride from the house if you want to play in the sand or ride the waves.
Xiomara, the local host, met us at the house where we were given the grand tour and the kids staked out their rooms for the week. It was comfortable and everyone was more than thrilled with their accommodations. A highlight for us was definitely the chef, Frederico! I would recommend utilizing his expertise. His food is amazing! He was able to accommodate everyone's needs. Sitting around the giant table being served family style was a wonderful bonding experience for all of us.
Morales, the live-in house keeper was always on her game. We loved her sweet smiles and had so much fun interacting with her. Watch it, though, if you try to do dishes or anything remotely house keeper-like (2 moms on the ground, we tried) she will 'shoo' you out of the kitchen. No work allowed on vacation. They took care of everything. They made breakfast for us before we went on excursions, made lunches for all 11 of us when we traveled all day and made sure we were happy and content at night.
The most rewarding and educational outing was with Punta Cana Mike. He is a bloke from Canada who has devoted himself to the Dominican people. Punta Cana Mike shows you the other side of things, and takes you outside of the beach resorts and into where the Dominican people actually live. This is an absolute must-do experience. It is eye opening, motivating and incredible. We went to a K-8th grade school with five boxes of donated school supplies that we had brought from the U.S. We interacted with the children and teachers and learned about their lives, their futures and the hardships they endure while trying to get an education. So much of what we take for granted is a struggle outside of the resort walls. We were all touched by the gratefulness, love and acceptance of these little ambassadors.
After enjoying the international pastime of 'futbol' with the kids, we went to see how the country makes some of its exports. We first went to a cigar producing shop that had been active for many, many years. Next we went to a chocolatier, followed by an establishment that had been making rum for hundreds of years. Our next stop was to a Dominican traditional market (see the picture above) where the colors, sounds and smells were dizzying. We met a "witch doctor" who could cure all your ailments with plants and concoctions made from the land. Finally, we headed off to play dominos with the locals at a small community car wash and to see a church that was built in the 1500s. Getting out like this, and in such a safe manner, will definitely "re-calibrate your compass." We try to do so wherever we go.
Rounding out our week in Punta Cana was a trip to the spa, a swim in the lagoon at the Ecological Park and Reserve and snorkeling with Blue Vision Adventures in Playa Blanca.
With each EE experience, we deepen our family bonds, as well as make new friends around the world. If more people had the opportunity to experience different cultures and build these strong bonds, the world would be a friendlier place.
Don T is an Owner Member of Equity Estates
In case any other members are headed out to La Jolla - and want to enjoy the fruits of our research on things to do with young kids - here are a couple of observations about where to eat with kids, and how to take in San Diego’s attractions, gathered from several trips....
We traveled to Florence during spring break with our children ages 13, 10 and 7. The residence was the perfect size for our family. The kids loved playing the Wii after long days of sightseeing, while we enjoyed the abundant travel guides and books in the residence. Loved the terrace with the view of the Ponte Vecchio and the river Arno although we couldn't enjoy it every day because the weather was rainy. We visited all of the must-see attractions in Florence and took day trips to Pisa (by train) and Siena. Our driver Giovanni (arranged by Daniela) was the perfect guide for the trip to Siena and the Chianti wine region.